Is it time for a bathtub replacement in your home? A good bathtub will last a several decades, but sometimes, through age and natural wear and tear, bathtub replacements become necessary for a homeowner. While putting in a new bathtub is not a terribly difficult job, the shower area of your home is extremely heavy and are constantly exposed to water — which makes them prone to rust, mildew, and mold. These factors can create a dangerous environment and can corrode the structure of the material that the bathtub is made of, as well as the skeleton of your home itself. Seemingly simple issues like cracked tile, grout inconsistencies, and flawed bathtub repairs can destroy the underlying structure of your home and create enormous issues. For this reason, it is essential that your bathtub replacement is executed correctly. To make your life easier, we’ve put together a few tips to make sure your bathtub replacement goes without a hitch.
Three Tips to Keep in Mind During Your Bathtub Install
- Pay close attention to permit requirements.
Most municipal building and permitting departments only require a permit for a bathtub installation if you are also replacing the drain and pipes. If you are only replacing the bathtub and tile itself, you probably won’t need a permit. However, if you do the work without going the inspection process, you might be subject to fines or even required to remove the bathtub and reinstall it properly if it is not installed according to zoning regulations down the road. To save yourself this nightmare, it’s a great idea to contact your local permitting department in advance and ask about your local requirements.
If your project does involve replacing the drains, you will need inspections prior to and after your project. Although this involves a minor fee and adds an extra step to your project, it is worth the trouble to make sure the job is done right. Permit inspections are in place to keep yourself and your home safe during home projects. Many times, your contractor will take care of this process for you, but you should check beforehand.
- Map out the entire plan before you get started.
There are a number of factors that must go into your bathtub replacement — plumbers, carpenters, tilers, sometimes even electricians. Additionally, your installation must be carried out in a specific order and timing in order to ensure quality. The tub and tile removal, tile installation, grouting, and sealing each require a certain time before moving to the next step. Make a plan for your bathtub installation from beginning to end, so that it goes without a hitch.
Also, keep in mind that each step in the process will cost something. Make a budget that incorporates all of the expenses (ideally set aside an additional 20% contingency to account for all the unexpected issues that could arise in the project), so that you don’t yank your old bathtub out and realize you don’t have the funds to put a new one in.
- Be very mindful of leaks.
A simple leak could lead to incredibly serious problems down the road. A small amount of water getting behind the walls could turn to an incredibly hazardous mold problem and decay the studs that hold your ceiling up. Take every precaution in avoiding this issue:
- Make sure the contractor installs a water-proof concrete sheet rock under the tile, instead of the standard sheet rock used in the rest of the house.
- Apply a layer of waterproofing membrane over the waterproof sheet rock. This can be found at any hardware store for about $50 (for enough to cover several bathrooms) and painted on before installing the tile. Not all contractors consider this a standard practice, but it’s a small cost of an extra guarantee that your bathroom will remain water tight for years to come.
- Make sure a waterproof and mold resistant caulking is applied all the cracks and corners of of the bathtub and shower area, including the corner in which the wall meets the ceiling. These are the areas of the bathroom that are most prone to leaks that create mold.
Do you have any great tips for bathtub installations? Please share with us below!